Bake from Scratch

Cut & Iced Cookies

cover recipe


Makes about 36 cookies

Recipe by Laura Crandall

Is it really the holidays if you don’t have festive sugar cookies? These classic cookies are topped with an elegant Royal Icing wreath that’s easier to create than you might think. Follow our step-by-step decorating guide on page 20 and you’ll be decking the halls with these jolly cookies in no time.

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
3¼ cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
Royal Icing (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg and extracts, beating until combined.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until a dough forms.

4. Divide dough in half; cover one half with plastic wrap. On a heavily floured surface, roll remaining dough to ¼-inch thickness. (Lightly flour top of dough if it sticks to rolling pin.) Using a 3¼-inch fluted round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Using a 1¾-inch fluted round cutter, cut centers from cookies. Repeat with remaining dough. Using a small off set spatula, place cookies at least 1 inch apart on prepared pans.

5. Bake, one batch at a time, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Using a large off set or flat metal spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

6. Using piping bag with plain white Royal Icing, pipe an outline along both edges of each cookie. Let dry for 5

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